Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson AO have jointly witnessed the commemorative lighting of the giant LED logo and images honoring the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries at the iconic SM Mall of Asia Globe in Pasay City.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven J. Robinson AO during the ceremonial lighting of the logo and images representing the 75th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries, at the MOA Globe in Pasay City. (Australian Embassy)

The images of Filipinos and Australians displaying bayanihan and mateship spirits will be illuminated at the MOA Globe from May 13 to 23, 2021 and is one of the highlights of a year-long anniversary commemoration in the Philippines and Australia.

In a statement, Robinson expressed confidence that the Australian tradition of mateship, which admirably aligns with the Philippine spirit of Bayanihan, will “continue to form the bedrock of the mutual support we provide to each other.”

“This year, we are celebrating the depth of the friendship and partnership between Australia and the Philippines which has stood firm through good times and bad – including especially the events of the past year. Secretary Locsin and I launched the 75th Anniversary celebration on Australia Day in January through the commemorative website mateshipandbayanihan.com.,” he said.

Formal ties between the two countries were established when Australia opened its Consulate General in Manila on May 22 1946.

In May 2016, then President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation No. 1282 declaring May 22 and every year thereafter as Philippine-Australia Friendship Day.

In issuing the Proclamation, the Philippine government cited the enduring friendship between the two countries, “based on similar aspirations of liberty, justice, democratic values and close historical ties” best demonstrated in several programs involving development assistance, immigration issues, regional and security cooperation, trade and investment.

To mark this year’s celebration, the Australian Embassy will host an online “Stream and Sip” festival highlighting Australian film, music and food on the weekend of May 22 to 23.

“This month of May, I invite everyone to join the celebration on social media by reflecting on our deep relationship and sending messages of friendship using the hashtags #mateshipandbayanihan and #FilAussieDay ,” said Robinson as he launched an online campaign to inspire people across the Philippines to join the celebration by sharing their stories of friendship.

Source: Manila Bulletin